300 Hannover Street
Boston, MA, USA
Mike's Pastry (@MikesPastry) must be doing something right, because every single person I asked for Boston food recommendations, mentioned this place. I'm not particularly obsessed with Italian desserts, but HOLY CANNOLI this place is good. They're most famous for their traditional classic Italian cannolis, but they have almost every Italian treat imaginable under one roof: biscotties, gelato, cakes, cookies, coffee, you name it.
I could go into all the details of the pastry shop's inspiring history, how the successful business has transcended through generations of the family, and how rival Italian bakery Modern Pastry (@ModernPastryINC)is just a block away...BUT, I don't think I have the patience for any of that. These desserts are too good! (But if you WOULD like to read about the history and success story after you drool all over the pictures to follow, please see here.)
I don't believe many people will find it hard to locate this pastry shop because there is always a huge line up of people out the door. We walked passed a whole cluster of people on the way to the to the entrance, only to realize that was how far the line up stretched. We ended up walking all the way back to get in line!
The "line up" inside
Once you actually get inside, the "line up" conditions don't get any better. In fact, there is no line up! In place of an organized and sequential line up, people can just walk right up to the ordering counter, where someone would be there to help you. Of course with 100 hungry customers trying to get to the ordering counter, it's a chaotic mess! Luckily the service is relatively fast, but let me say it was definitely an experience!
Dine in Tables
If you don't want to join the battle to the ordering counter, you can opt to eat in at one of precious few tables they have inside. A waitress will come and service you, but be prepared to be eating with people standing beside you who are still waiting to be served.
Lobster Tails calling my name from the display case
Once you finally make it to the counter, you'll be able to feast your eyes on the selection of treats behind the display case. It might've been the pure excitement of seeing so many colourful options, or the triumphant effect of finally reaching the counter, but part of me felt it would be justified to order everything in sight.
Only a small segment of all the display cases filled with treats!
Photo Creds: Jasmin V.
So there was no way I could've actually taken a picture like the one above purely on how crowded it was, but just imagine many many many of these display cases FILLED with desserts! :)
The pastries I ordered waiting to be all packaged up!
Unravelling the box
We stood outside in the middle of the sidewalk and just decided to start opening the box. I guess we just couldn't wait any longer!
Cannolis, get in my belly!
We took advice from Google about which cannolis were the best, and noticed there is much debate on the winner. Obviously I couldn't order every flavour (although I REALLY wanted to!) but here are the contenders of our box:
Mike's Famous Plain Ricotta Cannoli ($3)
Hazelnut Cannoli ($3.50)
Chocolate Chip Cannoli ($3.50)
I think my eyes were more ambitious than my stomach, because even for 6 people, these pastries were difficult to finish. The heavy ricotta filling really stuffs you up! But none the less these were an indulgent treat. The filling is very creamy and neutral enough to go well with any flavour you choose. My personal favorite was the Hazelnut Cannoli. The hazelnuts tasted like they were candied and there was a hint of coconut in there. An amazing combination! The Chocolate Chip Cannoli was a close second place for me, and I noticed it was a popular choice at the ordering counter. The chocolate chips taste exactly how you'd imagine it, so it's one of the safer cannoli topping. If you're not too adventurous, the Plain Cannoli also didn't disappoint. The cannoli cream and crunchy pastry shell tastes just as good on its own! :)
Lobster Tail ($5.50)
And now to the ginormous pastry that was the Lobster Tail. The Lobster tail is filled with regular cream (not ricotta cream), and the pastry is more of a flakey pastry (versus the crunchy cookie-like pastry of a cannoli). I think for me it didn't impress as much as the cannolis. But what I did find interesting, was why it's named the way it is. I thought it was because it resembled the tail of a lobster, but that's not entirely the case. Curious? Answer. :)
You would've never known, but this Mike's Pastry visit took place just an hour before a big seafood dinner. But somehow the six of us still managed to finish the entire box. I guess it was too good to go to waste! I wish I had the stomach to try the cannolis from Modern Pastry as well for a comparison, but I suppose that will have to wait for another Beantown visit. :)